Wednesday, 28 November 2007

A week in the bush

A week on Year 8 camp with no sign of a laptop and not even mobile phone coverage was refreshing for a while but it made me realise how much I had been using the computer recently.

Still, being out in the bush for a few days allowed the teachers and instructors to get to know the students a little better in a different environment - and vice versa. We were all able to view each other from a different perspective and appreciate qualities that were previously unknown. Learning from and about each other and each other's abilities. We worked collaboratively out there as well; helping each other set up camp, cook, bushwalk & cope with sleeping amongst ants & a variety of other bugs. Some were used to it (not me), some had to get used to it pretty quickly. Professional development in yet another form.

Out here, it's the same. I am learning from teachers, students, administrators and all sorts of people. Maybe one day people will also learn from me - that's part of the plan anyway. It is no longer top-down PD / learning but we are able to easily deal with, teach and learn from all 'levels' and so far I am finding this far more effective.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Outed as a "lurker"

In my reading over the past few hours I have come across the term "lurking" a couple of times. It seems that for the past few weeks, that is exactly what I have been doing - lurking in the background, reading blogs, setting up feeds and joining Classroom 2.0 (without actually contributing much yet). Despite the creepiness of the term, this lurking has been very educational and is working out to be a great exercise in professional development.

I have just been looking at Kim Cofino's 21st Century Educator wikispace (where I came across the term lurking for the second time within an hour or so - it was then I felt like I was being watched). Anyway, the slide presentation seemed to be the exact path that I am finding myself on. Sampling (I now have way too many feeds in google reader), making connections, joining groups and even contributing - though I'm still working on this one. The collaboration that goes on out here is fantastic and more valuable than most, if not all, the conventional type of professional development that I have done in recent years. I would recommend "learning by lurking" to anyone else out there. Find blogs and wikis to read and learn from and you will gradually work out what it is all about. Eventually you will be ready to move even further along that path into the Web2.0 world.

Friday, 9 November 2007

raison d’être

Last night as I trawled through the ever increasing feeds in my google reader I came across Ewan McIntosh's comments on "The Illiterates of the 21st Century" and realised that this is what I'm trying to avoid in setting up a blog. I see much potential in using the computer and Web 2.0 in the language classroom and am hoping that I can use this to help my teaching and my learning. It's an attempt to get some professional development in my own time and to avoid the possibility that I am in some ways illiterate - at least out here.

For me the journey and the inspiration for all this came out of attending the Navcon 2K7 ICT conference held in October. It was there that the door to Web 2.0 opened up wide - a little too wide at first, as my head is still spinning. Which leads me back to why I'm here. My theory is that if I take it one step at a time (or one application at a time), the spinning will slow down to a slow whirl - am I hoping for too much? In doing so I seek to help those who are new to all this (including myself) and seek help from anyone who is willing and able.

Here we go ...

Monday, 5 November 2007

Step 1

There seems to be many reasons to write a blog; to reflect, think out loud, even ask for help. For me, Web 2.0 is the inspiration for all this blog stuff. Many years ago as a prac teacher doing a Diploma of Education, we had to write a journal to reflect, etc on our days at school. And, it worked, it helped. So, many years later, in an attempt to find new direction and passion, why not start a similar activity – albeit an updated version. We' see what happens next ...